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Say hello to sadness -- then goodbye

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Emotions take over, then they pass. This is how Greg Smith, MD deals with waves of sadness: recognizing them, then letting go.


Scheduling Sadness


June 9, 2011 gregsmithmd


Sometimes I am transiently, completely overwhelmed by the sadness from the loss of people and past experiences in my life.


I have experienced a failed marriage, the first fingernails-on-blackboard, bile-flavored, metal spike through the brain set of circumstances I have ever had to live through. I would recommend it to no one, not even one looking to forge a strong character out of the hot fires of jealousy and bitter pain.


I have lost my father....


I have lost my faith....


I have lost my childhood....


All of these have weighed heavily on my mind, my heart, my soul. All of them, having done their damage and said goodbye to me, have hidden themselves, like catfish on the muddy bottom, feeding on the detritus of my life, waiting for the next trauma, the signal to rise slowly, slowly, slowly, up from that murky half-forgotten silty cemetery to stare at me again with half-blind eyes. To stare through me. To remind me. To mock me.




I don't wait for them.


I allow myself to call them forth every once in a great while. I let the memories wash over me in fearful five hundred mile per hour tsunamis of grief. I let the hot branding irons of jealousy and hurt singe but not scar me. I let the muddy, spiky, spines of the fish's whiskers caress my face, wiping away the tears that, all efforts of mine aside, must come. I listen intently for God. I revel in the childhood of my first born's first born.


I schedule this sadness.


I give it very little time.


And then I send it away.


Add a comment to this post: http://gregsmithmd.com/2011/06/09/scheduling-sadness/#respond

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This was so beautifully written... not allowing yourself to get totally tangled in the sadness and pain... feeling it and then gently letting it go. It's what one has to do in order to stay sane.

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Yep. I do that too, except I don't really schedule it, I fight it off unconsciously until it builds up and something triggers me and then, wham, it all comes out. But I try not to judge or attach a 'story' to it, just experience the flood of loss and let it go. I don't think we ever really get over significant losses, we just learn to put them at the back of our mind most of the time.

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